Author Archives: Mountain Orthodontics

Trick or Treat:  Surviving Halloween with Braces

Halloween can be a nightmare for braces.  Besides the dressing up, decorating, and pumpkin carving Halloween is all about the candy.  For those of you with braces, you will need to be extra careful and vigilant to ensure that your braces remain intact and undamaged this Halloween.  Here are a few tips to help you get through this Halloween.

Candy Do’s and Don’ts

First, let’s focus on the candy and Halloween treats that are a good option for people in braces. If the candy is soft and not sticky you should be able to eat it carefully in small pieces.  Examples of this are:

  • Pure chocolate bars
  • Smarties
  • Peanut butter cups.
  • Wagon Wheels

Some of the candy that you should avoid include:

  • Sticky caramels or any type of chocolate bar that contains caramel.
  • Salt-water taffy.
  • Popcorn in all its forms.
  • Hard foods such as jaw breakers.
  • Candy Apples
  • Peanut M&M’s
  • Granola bars

Brush and Floss Right Away

Regardless of what treats you are indulging in this Halloween you need to remember to brush and floss your teeth after you are finished.  The sugar and acid in the candy will increased the risk of cavities.  When you are brushing and flossing remember to pay attention to the space between the back wires and your teeth as well as each individual bracket.

If you do encounter any problems with your braces such as a broken bracket or wire, contact us for an appointment to get your braces repaired.  The longer you leave problems, the longer you are going to have to wear your braces, and the less effective the treatment will be.

These tips should help you enjoy Halloween while keeping your braces intact and undamaged.  If you would like any more information on candy that you should avoid please contact us.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Mountain Orthodontics!


Invisalign FAQ’s – Part 2

With so much positive feedback and interest generated from the first set of FAQ’s about Invisalign I felt a follow up blog was necessary.  Here are the answers to some questions you might have about how Invisalign works.

How Often do I Have to Wear my Invisalign Aligners?

Just because your aligners are removable doesn’t mean you can take them out and put them in whenever you feel like it.  For your Invisalign treatment to be successful you need to keep them in for most of the day, which is 20 – 22 hours a day. In short, the only time to remove your aligners is when you are eating your meals or are brushing and flossing your teeth.

What are Attachments?

Invisalign attachments are “handles” that will help the aligners better connect to your teeth.  Essentially, these tooth coloured shapes give the aligners something to push against and allow the right amount of pressure to be distributed to the designated areas of your teeth.  You will hardly even notice these attachments as the aligners just settle in around them.  The Invisalign attachments are removed after completion of the treatment.

How do I Care for my Invisalign Aligners?

Although the aligners are replaced every 10 to 14 days, you still need to clean them to remove any food particles and prevent bacteria from growing in the trays.  A clean toothbrush with lukewarm water is effective as is cleaning them in a retainer cleaner solution.  Never use hot water to clean your aligners as it can warp them.

You will need to continue taking care of your teeth while you are undergoing treatment.  Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent cavities and gum inflammation.  You also need to continue with regular cleanings and check ups at your dentist’s office.

Does Invisalign Hurt?

The pressure from a new set of aligners may cause discomfort for a few days as your teeth are being realigned, but that’s it.  Because Invisalign uses no wires or metal there is no discomfort or pain from a broken bracket or wire and no need for brace wax.

Is Invisalign Easy to Use?

Two decades of development and innovative techniques have gone into creating Invisalign.  Part of the innovation is the ease of use combined with proven results.  Invisalign may be appealing to you for as they are less visible than traditional braces.  The need to restrict what you eat is reduced with aligner treatment.

If you are in the Squamish or Whistler areas and would like more information on the orthodontic treatments available or are interested in finding out whether Invisalign is right for you, please stop by or give us a call.  I look forward to seeing you soon.


Invisalign FAQ’s – Part 1

In some cases a beautiful smile and good bite is possible without using traditional braces.  Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, can move teeth to improve their alignment and correct some bite problems.  At Mountain Orthodontics we use a variety of different appliances to move teeth and clear aligners is one of them.  Here are some Invisalign FAQ’s to see if this treatment is right for you.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance that uses transparent aligners to correct and straighten your teeth.  They work very similarly to traditional braces without the use of wires or brackets.  The aligners are made from a patented material that contains no harmful chemicals, such as latex.

Invisalign aligners are designed specifically for each patient.  A digital map of your teeth is used to form a set of aligners that will apply pressure in designated areas to straighten your teeth.  This is all based on a treatment plan that has been specifically designed for you by Dr. Ball.

How Do the Aligners Work?

The Invisalign process works very similar to the traditional braces method.  There is a series of aligners, each designed to put gentle force on your teeth in different areas to slowly bring them into alignment.  The main advantage of Invisalign is that the appliances are clear.

Aligners are changed about every 10 days to two weeks so that they put pressure on your teeth as long as needed.  Dr. Ball will monitor your progress at regular intervals to make sure the teeth are tracking in the aligners properly.  If adjustments to the process are needed she will let you know.

With proper use the incremental changes will begin to straighten your teeth, leaving you with a beautiful smile.

Why Use Invisalign Instead of Traditional Braces?

Invisalign offers a wide range of benefits when compared to traditional braces.  Some of these include:

  • The clear retainers are more esthetic than traditional braces.
  • Comfort based problems. Invisalign does not use metal or wire, so they avoid any discomfort associated with sharp or protruding metal edges.
  • Food restrictions. There are no food restrictions with Invisalign because you remove the aligners when eating.

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work?

Invisalign aligners need to be worn on average between 20 to 22 hours a day.  You also need to switch the aligners every week or two, depending upon the advice of your orthodontist.  The overall length of treatment is determined by the complexity of your case and how well you where your aligners.

Invisalign can be an excellent alternative to traditional braces.  If you are in Squamish or Whistler and have been thinking about orthodontic treatment, please feel free to call for an appointment to discuss your various treatment options.

How to Enjoy the Summer with Braces

Summer is finally here. That means no more school, long lazy days, hot weather and delicious barbecues and picnics.  Even with braces there is no downside to this sunny season.  If you are dreading summer barbeques because you have braces then this blog is for you.  Here are some excellent ways to enjoy all that summer has to offer while keeping your new smile on track.

Summer Foods to Avoid

For the most part your summer food favorites are brace-friendly.  You can enjoy all the potato salad and steak that you want.  The real culprit of any summer get-together is corn on the cob.  Try to avoid corn on the cob because it is extremely tough on braces, brackets and brace wires.  The last thing that you want is an emergency trip to your orthodontist because of an oversight at your family picnic.  If you really need to have corn, cut it off the cob and enjoy.

Stick to a Schedule

Just because it is summer and you can put “Relax” on almost every single schedule, this does not apply to your daily brace and dental hygiene one.  Your teeth still need to be brushed and flossed to keep the food particles out of your brackets and prevent plaque and other harmful bacteria from growing and cavities from forming.

Even though it is summer you still need to keep your orthodontist appointments, so be sure to schedule them around your holidays.

Protect your Mouth

One of the best things about summer is the activities that are available – from soccer to softball there is always something to do.  If you are going to be playing sports this summer it is a wise to invest in a mouth guard.  You want to avoid damaging your braces as it cannot only be an inconvenience and painful, it may cause your braces to be on longer.

Curb your Sweet Tooth

Summer is also a time of sweets, from popsicles to ice cream the temptations are endless.  Although It may seem impossible it is a good idea to skip the sweets.  If this is not an option, be sure to rinse well with water.   The high sugar content of various sweets can destroy tooth enamel and lead to cavities.

By avoiding certain foods and sticking to a healthy summer routine you should be able to enjoy the good times associated with summer while avoiding problems with your braces.  If you would like to see if braces are right for you please stop by today.  I look forward to seeing you soon.


The Essential Braces Kit

In order for your braces to be effective and give you that perfect smile, you will need to take care of them and your teeth.  A proper oral hygiene routine needs to be adhered to – at home or on the go.  Here are some ideas to build your essential braces cleaning kit.

The Perfect Braces Kit

When preparing your kit, you will want to include the basics for proper dental hygiene.  This includes:

  • A toothbrush. Don’t forget to include a toothbrush cover to keep your toothbrush clean and undamaged.  Remember to replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles start to flair out.  Always use a soft or ultra soft bristle to prevent damage to the enamel or braces.
  • Choose your favorite type in a convenient travel size.  Fluoridated toothpastes are recommended because they have been proven to help prevent cavities.
  • Dental floss, floss threaders, and sulca brushes. It is important to remove any food from the braces to minimize tooth decay and plaque build-up.  Floss threaders and superfloss will get the dental floss into hard to reach places such as under the wires and between the teeth.  Waxed floss often works better than unwaxed floss because it doesn’t get shredded or get stuck in your braces.  A sulca brush is like a tiny toothbrush that can get in the tight spots where a regular toothbrush is too big.


  • Dental wax. This is a very helpful item in your kit.  A broken or damaged wire or bracket will irritate your gum, cheek, or lips.  Make sure that you have enough wax to create a cushion between your brace and the rest of your mouth until you can make an appointment to get it fixed.
  • Tylenol or Advil. You will want a type of pain relief available, especially after getting your braces adjusted, to relieve any discomfort.
  • Tissues or Kleenex. They will dry any area so the wax stays on better.
  • A bottle of water. If you need to rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth after a meal, a bottle of water is a must.  Water will also help loosen any unwanted food particles stuck between your braces and teeth.
  • Lip balm. This will keep your lips hydrated and to prevent chapping or cracking.

This emergency braces kit will allow you to adhere to your orthodontic hygiene routine, even when you are not at home.  Keep in mind the better care you take of your braces, the happier you are going to be with the final product – a beautiful and straight set of teeth.  If you would like more information about what to pack in your braces kit or are interested in finding out more about the various orthodontic treatment we offer, please contact us today.  We look forward to working with you soon.